The nonprofit, Understood, that focuses on programs for families, educators, and young adults to better address learning and workplace disabilities released a survey last week that indicates that in the remote learning environment, nearly three-quarters (72%) of parents have become aware or noticed their children (with learning and thinking differences) have fallen behind during the pandemic.  Among the key findings based on an April survey:

  • Learning loss: Nearly 60% of parents of students with learning and thinking differences say their children are a year behind and may never catch up.
  • Mental health: Children with learning and thinking differences are nearly three times as likely to have experienced depression related to schooling changes.
  • The stress related to distance learning has been much higher for those with learning and thinking differences versus those without (65% vs. 44%), resulting in emotional distress (61% vs. 36%), physical symptoms (57% vs. 30%), avoidance of attending classes (47% vs. 23%) and more.
  • Finances: Almost twice as many (56% vs. 30%) parents of children with learning and thinking differences say providing their child with academic support has put a major financial burden on their family
  • Summer school: Almost all (86%) parents of children with learning and thinking differences are planning on summer academic support compared to just half of parents of typical children.

Politico reported last week that nearly 14 percent of all public-school students are entitled to special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Under the law, all eligible students with disabilities are entitled to an individualized education program, which is a written learning plan developed by a team of school officials, parents, and the student.